Report: Celtics head coach Udoka likely facing suspension for entire 2022-23 season

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka shouts from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 134-112. (Steven Senne/AP)

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is likely facing a suspension for the entire 2022-23 season for his role in a "consensual relationship with a female staff member," according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski adds that assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will likely take the role as Boston's interim head coach while Udoka is suspended.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe were first to report a suspension was looming Wednesday night, but did not initially provide further detail about what occurred. Both Wojnarowski and Himmelsbach reported that a final decision on discipline is expected soon.

Shams Charania of The Athletic then reported that Udoka "had an improper and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff," adding that the relationship has "been deemed a violation of (the) franchise's code of conduct."

Wojnarowski also reported that Udoka's job was not believed to be in jeopardy.

Udoka, 45, took over as Celtics head coach ahead of the 2021-22 campaign and had immediate success, leading the team to the NBA Finals before falling to the Golden State Warriors. The Celtics went 51-31 in Udoka's first season in charge.

Before joining the Celtics, Udoka was an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2020-21 season. He first started coaching as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs in 2012 and also has spent some time on the bench with the Philadelphia 76ers.

As a player, he was a small forward who played in 316 NBA games with the Lakers, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Spurs and Kings from 2003 to 2011.

Mazzulla, 34, has been an assistant coach with the Celtics since 2019.

Himmelsbach reports that the Celtics are scheduled to hold a media day on Monday and begin training camp on Tuesday.

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